NHL trade rumors: J.T. Miller could be moved, Oilers still seeking defensemen

Catch up on all the latest trade talk around the NHL as the March 3 deadline looms.

There's just a few days left before the March 3 NHL trade deadline, and despite some big deals going down over the weekend, there are still some notable names waiting for a convincing bid from a contender.

Here's a roundup of the latest news around the league.

Canucks thinking of moving J.T. Miller?

On Monday, The Athletic's Shayna Goldman reported that Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller's name began floating around in trade talks over the weekend.

As the Vancouver Canucks attempt to retool around their young core, the front office is reportedly considering trading forward J.T. Miller ahead of the NHL trade deadline on Friday. (Getty Images)
As the Vancouver Canucks attempt to retool around their young core, the front office is reportedly considering moving forward J.T. Miller ahead of the NHL trade deadline on Friday. (Getty)

The Pittsburgh Penguins have emerged as a potential trade partner for the Canucks, Matt Vensel of the Post Gazette reported on Tuesday.

Goldman also reported on Tuesday that league sources believe the Canucks have a "sizeable deal in the works", and that the potential trade hinges only on cap management issues to navigate.

A trade to move Miller out of Vancouver would be surprising considering he signed a fresh seven-year, $56-million contract ($8 million AAV) in September 2022 — a deal that won't even kick in until next season. While the 29-year-old is still producing at a steady clip with 54 points in 59 games (he tallied a career-high 99 points last season), Miller has made headlines for the wrong reasons in 2022-23.

A potential Miller deal could be tricky to pull off for Canucks general manager Patrik Alvin, as any trade would likely have to include salary retention. And, as pointed out by Cap Friendly, Vancouver would have to hold on to a percentage of Miller's cap hit on both his current deal ($5.25 million AAV) and the lucrative contract he's set to cash in on in the summer.

Vancouver announced Monday that Miller is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury. Miller's agent told The Fourth Period's David Pagnotta that the trade should only keep him out for a week, and that his absence is not trade-related.

Oilers still hunting for a defenseman

The Edmonton Oilers are in need of some help on the defensive side of the puck, and general manager Ken Holland has reportedly made it a priority to give Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl the support they need behind them.

TSN's Darren Dreger reported on Tuesday that the Oilers and Coyotes were "progressing" on a deal for Arizona defenseman Jakob Chychrun on Monday, but talks cooled down later in the day.

Dreger also reported on Monday that the Oilers and Nashville Predators are engaged in trade talks over veteran blueliner Mattias Ekholm.

The 32-year-old currently has 18 points in 57 games this season, and is only in the first year of a four-year, $25 million contract ($6.25 million AAV).

Edmonton is also keeping close tabs on Montreal Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmundson, Dreger reported.

The 29-year-old has been limited by injury this season, appearing in only 39 games and registering six points. Edmundson is on the books for this season and next at a $3.5 million AAV, and has a modified no-trade clause.

Chychrun talks heating up again

David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reports that trade talks around Chychrun are picking up with only days left until the deadline.

The Kings, which were reportedly close to acquiring the 24-year-old last week, are still one of the frontrunners to land the versatile blueliner, along with the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes.

Interest growing around Van Riemsdyk, Hayes

It's safe to say the Philadelphia Flyers aren't having the season they envisaged when they hired John Tortorella to steer the ship in the right direction. Currently sitting near the bottom of the NHL standings with a 23-28-10 record, general manager Chuck Fletcher admitted on Tuesday that his team will be a seller ahead of Friday's deadline.

Kevin Hayes, a first-time All-Star and second in team scoring with 48 points in 60 games, can be had at the right price, according to Fletcher.

According to NHL insider Kevin Weekes, a number of buyers are also closing in on Philadelphia Flyers forward James Van Riemsdyk.

The 33-year-old has nine goals and 23 points in 40 games this season, and is in the final year of a five-year, $35 million contract ($7 million AAV).